Bær

Old Norse Dictionary - bær

Meaning of Old Norse word "bær" in English.

As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:

bær Old Norse word can mean:

bær
bœr, or býr, gen. baejar or býjar; gen. biar also occurs, esp. in Norse MSS. of the 14th century, Fb., but is rare and unclassical; pl. -ir, gen. -ja, dat. -jum. In Icel. people say bær; in Norway in Swed. and Dan. (always with y) by; the root word being búa, bú: this word is very freq. in local names of towns and villages throughout the whole of Scandinavia; and wherever the Scandinavian tribes settled the name by or went along with them. In the map of Northern England the use of this word marks out the limits and extent of the Norse immigration, e. g. the name Kirkby or Kirby; about twenty or thirty such are found in English maps of the Northern and Midland Counties, denoting churches built by the Norse or Danish settlers, as Whitby, Grimsby, etc., cp. Kirkjubær in Icel. In Denmark and Sweden local names ending in -by are almost numberlesS.
bær
I. a town, village, this is the Norse, Swed., and Dan. notion; þeir brenna býi at köldum kolum, FmS. xi. 122; til bæjarins (of Niðarós), vii. 30; of Bergen, viii. 360, 438; Tunsberg, ix. 361; of the town residence of the earl of Orkney, Nj. 267: allit., borgir ok bæi, castles and towns, Ann. 1349, etc. etc.; baejar-biskup, a town-bishop, FmS. vii. 32; bæjar-prestr, a town-priest, D. n.; bæjar-lögmaðr, a town-justice, id.; bæjar-lýðr, bæjar-lið, bæjar-menn, town’s-people, FmS. viii. 38, 160, 210, Eg. 240, BS. i. 78; baejar-brenna, the burning of a town, FmS. x. 30; bæjar-bygð, a town-district, viii. 247; bæjar-gjald, a town-rate, n. G. l. i. 328; bæjar-sýsla, a town-office, FmS. vi. 109; bæjar-starf, id., Hkr. iii. 441; bæjar-seta, dwelling in town, Ld. 73, Ísl. ii. 392.
bær
II. a farm, landed estate, this is the Icel. notion, as that country has no towns; bær in Icel. answers to the Germ. ‘hof,’ Norweg. ‘ból,’ Dan. ‘gaard,’ denoting a farm, or farmyard and buildings, or both together; hence the phrase, reisa, göra, setja bæ, efna til bæjar, to build the farmstead, Eb. 10, 26, 254, Ld. 96, 98, FS. 26, Landn. 126, 127, Eg. 131, Gísl. 8, 28, BS. i. 26, Þorst. hv. 35; byggja bæ, BS. i. 60; the phrase, bær heitir…, a farm is called so and so, Ísl. ii. 322, 323, 325, Ann. 1300, Hrafn. 22, Dropl. 5; the allit. phrase, búa á bæ…, Þorst. hv. 37; the passages are numberless, and ‘bær’ has almost become synonymous with ‘house and home;’ and as it specially means ‘the farm-buildings,’ Icel. also say innan-bæjar, in-doors; utan-bæjar, out-of-doors; í bæ, within doors; milii baejar ok stöðuls, K. Þ. K. 78; milli bæja; bæ frá bæ, from house to house; á bæ og af bæ, at home and abroad: things belonging to a bær, bæjar-dyr, the doors of the houses, the chief entrance; bæjar-hurð (janua); bæjar-veggr, the wall of the houses; bæjar-bust, the gable of the houses; bæjar-lækr, the home-spring, well; bæjar-hlað, the premises; bæjar-stétt, the pavement in the front of the houses; bæjar-leið, a furlong, a short distance as between two ‘bæir;’ bæjar-sund, passage between the houses; bæjar-hús, the home-stead, opp. to fjár-hús, etc., where cattle is kept, or barns and the like; fram-bær, the front part of the houses; torf-bær, timbr-bær, a ‘bær’ built of turf or timber: phrases denoting the ‘bær’ as hearth and home, hér sú Guð í bæ, God be in this house, a form of greeting, cp. Luke x. 5; bæjar-bragr, the customs or life in a house; nema börn hvað á bæ er títt (a proverb).

Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᛒᛅᚱ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements

Abbreviations used:

cp.
compare.
Dan.
Danish.
dat.
dative.
e. g.
exempli gratia.
esp.
especially.
etc.
et cetera.
freq.
frequent, frequently.
gen.
genitive.
Icel.
Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
l.
line.
m.
masculine.
n.
neuter.
pl.
plural.
S.
Saga.
Swed.
Swedish.
allit.
alliteration, alliterative.
id.
idem, referring to the passage quoted or to the translation
L.
Linnæus.
lit.
literally.
Germ.
German.
Norweg.
Norwegian.
opp.
opposed.
v.
vide.

Works & Authors cited:

Fb.
Flateyjar-bók (E. I.)
Ann.
Íslenzkir Annálar. (D. IV.)
Bs.
Biskupa Sögur. (D. III.)
D. N.
Diplomatarium Norvagicum. (J. II.)
Eg.
Egils Saga. (D. II.)
Fms.
Fornmanna Sögur. (E. I.)
Hkr.
Heimskringla. (E. I.)
Ld.
Laxdæla Saga. (D. II.)
N. G. L.
Norges Gamle Love. (B. II.)
Nj.
Njála. (D. II.)
Dropl.
Droplaugar-sona Saga. (D. II.)
Eb.
Eyrbyggja Saga. (D. II.)
Fs.
Forn-sögur. (D. II.)
Gísl.
Gísla Saga. (D. II.)
Hrafn.
Hrafnkels Saga. (D. II.)
K. Þ. K.
Kristinn-réttr Þorláks ok Ketils = Kristinna-laga-þáttr. (B. I.)
Landn.
Landnáma. (D. I.)
Þorst. hv.
Þorsteins-þáttr hvíta. (D. II.)
➞ See all works cited in the dictionary
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